While CityServe Day supports a variety of nonprofits and organizations, it is also an opportunity to come alongside individuals and families. It’s the perfect avenue to build lasting relationships and meet tangible needs.
Thrivent Financial took advantage of CityServe Day by empowering their local “action teams” to serve. These teams are led by Thrivent members, and are provided with a $250 gift card towards a community project. Taylor Plummer, a local member, saw this as an opportunity to set up a custom project.
Plummer contacted COSILoveYou staff to ask how his action team could support CityServe Day. COSILoveYou Coordinator Corrie Smith connected Plummer to a Southeast neighbor, Ms. Willie, who needed several house repairs due to physical limitations. Ms. Willie was eager to host a service project at her home. “I needed bars in the bathroom, because I had nothing to hold onto. Also I needed some tree limbs cut because the insurance company didn’t want them hanging over the house,” Ms. Willie said.
Plummer and COSILoveYou staff met with Ms. Willie to take a look at the house. Plummer saw it as a chance to build a relationship with a neighbor, at the same time building relationships amongst his action team. The team sourced tools from friends and family members. They bought handrails, calking materials, and drywall repair kits, which easily fit into the provided $250 budget. They were ready for CityServe Day!
Plummer recalls how the day went: “There was an air of excitement as we figured out what to do. We had a lot of projects, a lot of specialized knowledge. We hoped to finish it all in time. It worked really smoothly, we worked for 4 hours and moved from one thing to another.” Plummer and his team trimmed bushes and trees, planted flowers, installed a handrail and new calking in the bathroom, and repaired holes in the ceiling. Ms. Willie was at home the day of the project, and shared her faith story with the group. “She prayed for us before we started,” said Plummer. “Everyone was touched by Willie and her kindness.”
Having worked at Goodwill for years, Ms. Willie has encouraged and uplifted others. She has a rich faith and spoke of God’s provision in her life: “I feel like the people here showed a great display of care. And I really appreciate it because I didn’t know there would be such an overflow of love.”
The Importance of Partnership & Going Back
Loving your neighbor can mean a variety of things – serving someone in need, or partnering with nonprofits, businesses, and volunteers to serve the community. The project at Ms. Willie’s house was a great display of partnership, in which COSILoveYou united multiple resources for the sake of a neighbor.
Community Engagement Leader of Thrivent, Eric Stolp, shared how excited he is about COSILoveYou’s vision of citywide impact: “We want to engage thousands of Thrivent members locally to support the city through COSILoveYou’s vision.”
Plummer and his action team plan to continue supporting Ms. Willie to ensure ongoing projects get completed at her home. “There’s still a lot that needs to be done there. I’d like to see what her need is and lead another project.” Ms. Willie is also eager to participate in CityServe Day 2020. “I just thank the whole organization for showing the community love. I would sign up next year! It would really be helpful.”
If you are interested in loving your neighbor this fall, please visit our Fall Service Opportunities Page!
Photos by Adam Morley